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Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - January 28, 2005, Syracuse, New York THE READERS' PAGE Friday. January 28, 2005 THE POST-STANDARD PAGE A 13 Oh! Those Clueless Democrats SEN. BARBARA BOXER Troublemaker7 (01 stir overdue (f ifKfll tiuMung To the Editor: Some juxtaposition. Your ed- itorial wonders why the letter-to- the-editor troublemaker Michael Crook provokes anger and dis- gust, and the next day's front page tells of Ward Churchill calling those killed in the World Trade Center bombings "little Eichmanns." Stirring up such sacred hornet's nests can certainly wake people im to do Jong over- due critical thinking! Jim McKepwn Cicero Series on Antarctica SEN. ROBERT BYRD D-West Virginia The Associated Press DEMOCRATIC SENATE leaders Robert Byrd of West Virginia (left) and Barbara Boxer of California speak out Tuesday during confirmation hearings for Con- doleezza Rice as President Bush's next secretary of state. i To the Editor: i I enjoyed Isabel Wolseley Torrey's articles on her Antarc- tica trip. I always look forward to her bi-weekly columns, but i this series was particularly enter- taining and educational. The pic- tures were spectacular, the lay- out v e'' done md rrap save j us a better perspective on this The party is misguided, or at best harmless To the Editor The Democratic Party once again finds itself trying to figure out what went wrong in a national election. I suggest that what went wrong is the liberal wing of the party. Today's liberals were shaped by the Vietnam War and 1960s radicalism. Essentially, there are two branches of liberalism today. One is the "Moon- beam Liberals." These folks are ba- sically harmless. They just want to be left alone to smoke pot, drop acid and make mad, passionate love in the after- noon on the front lawn. Most Moonbeam Liberals do not run for elected office, as that would inter- fere with their purpose in life. (George McGovem was an exception.) If they go to the polls (when thev car. find the polling they vote a straight Democratic ticket, as studying the is- sues would be too difficult. Generally, they didn't finish high school, and each went to Hollywood in a Volkswagen bus at some point in his or her life to get inio the movies. Whoopi Goldberg and Martin Sheen are examples of Moonbeam Liberals. The other branch of Dem liberalism is the "Screaming Meemies." This is the liberal" (an oxymo- ron) portion of the party. They believe the only time God's name should be spoken is as a prefix to a curse, and that if God really existed, He would be a woman anyway: that the state should give each boy in the nation a gross of condoms and a Hustler magazine for his 13th birthday, and each girl a gift certificate for a free abortion at the same age. They believe the institution of marriage should be outlawed (unless it is between same-sex and that illicit drugs should be legalized and given away by the state (to ensure equal access.) They believe prisons should be emp- tied, and violent offenders re-educated instead of imprisoned. (Then the empty- prisons could be used to incarcerate Christians, starting with George Screaming Meemies speak fluent French, scowl, howl, gripe, obstruct, and many foam at the mouth as they shake their fists at the heavens in bitter protest against the latest perceived wrong. Howard Dean, Teddy Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi are examples of Screaming Meemie liberals. If the Democratic Party wants to get back into the national ball game, it needs to amputate its left wing! Charles A. Lewis Phoenix Disrespecting blacks: Are Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats showing their colors" in backing ex- Klansman Sen. Robert Bjrd in his ef- fort to stall the confirmation of a black woman. Dr. Condoleezza Rice, as the next secretary of state? The African- American community has been so brainwashed by Democratic politics of promises that it does not recognize when it has been disrespected. Don't Pelosi and other Democratic leaders re- alize the confirmation of Dr. Rice will add a new page to the history of Amer- ica and blacks in America? Maybe they just don't care. Abdul-Ra'oof Mustafa, Syracuse A bold agenda: Bold initiatives to ensure a future of security, opportunity and responsibility dominate the newly released agenda for the Democratic Party, now the minority in both houses of Congress. "The American Promise" headlines serious security proposals top-quality equipment for soldiers in combat, increased Army and Marine personnel, taking the fight to the terror- ists and drying up their breeding grounds. The plan will end tax incentives for companies that send jobs overseas, and aggressively open foreign markets to U.S. goods. 1 his agenda also limits government spending and balances the federal budget. Jeremiah Johnson, Soonviiie If Patrick is gay, then Elmer Fudd must be, too To the Editor: The religious right has "outed" Spongebob Square- pants' little buddy, Patrick the Starfish. They have also discov- ered Bugs Bunny is gay because he sometimes wears women's clothing and kisses Elmer Fudd. Personally, I have always wondered about Elmer Fudd, confirmed bachelor. Does he kiss back? He is always running around with a shotgun, and we all know what that means. And Hnn't rrm ctjtrtfM on the androgynous Tweety Bird whole persona cries out 'interior Sexual-identity conflict as- cribes a level of psychological complexity to cartoon characters that is not supported by the cur- rent body of research. Over- whelmingly, recent studies sup- port the common-sense belief that cartoon characters are fairly simple creatures. It is unfortunate that religious- right groups, in their zeal to un- cover threats to our way of life, have latched onto the dimension of homosexuality. Wouldn't their time be more profitably spent investigating more imme- diate issues: Is Yosemite Sam a terrorist? Does Condi Rice live in a pineapple under the sea? Sterling Osgood Marcellus Moore turned around Upstate's misfortunes To the Editor: In the early 1990s. Upstate Medical University was saddled with acute and chronic financial problems; multiple chairmanship vacancies; the need for many new programs; and maintaining those that were ongoing. Fortunately, in 1993, after an exhaustive national search, Ben Moore agreed to become hospi- tal CEO. Within three years, fin- ancial strategies initiated by Ben in collaboration with the dean's office enhanced revenues and cut expenses, resulting in a black Bottom line. The budgets of the medical college and hospital are inter- twined, so this aided in recruit- ing new chairs, maintaining pro- grams and developing new ones to progress toward "cutting- edge medicine." I found Ben extremely easy to work with, with the entire insti- tution as his top priority. In my exposure at major institutions around the country, I have never found a more cooperative collab- orative hospital participant in an academic institution. The most distressing aspect of the managerial change is the way it occurred lacking all sensi- tivity, a characteristic all involv- ed in medical training try to in- still in our students. Joseph P. Whalen, M.D. Dean and professor emeritus Upstate Medical University New York City IB I Write to The Reoders'Poge The Post-Standard welcomes letters from readers sent by mail, fax or e-mail. Please follow these guidelines: 250 words or less: Shorter letters have a better chance of being published quickly. This entire box contains 250 words. Legible: Hand-written letters are welcome but take longer to publish. Identification: Include your name, full address and daytime telephone number. Only the writer's name and home town are published. Frequency. Writers may be limited to one letter per month because of the volume of mail. Commentary. Longer letters, up to 600 words, that are unusually compelling, well written or show a special expertise in a subject will oe considered. How to reach us Mail: The Readers' Page, Box 4915, Syracuse NY Fax: (315) 470-3081, directed to The Readers' Page. E-mail: in subject box, type "Post-Standard letter" Contact For more information, call Fred Fiske at 470-2167. Anything you send us becomes the property of The Herald Co., puWnhersof The Post-Standard. It will not be returned. Such a submission, to name just a few examples, may be a letter to the cartoon, a picture, poem and the material mxv edited for length or content, and may be puoiisneooruseainanjr ou.c. 221. Hike akohol taxes too, like cigorettes To the Editor: You recently offered a well- reasoned argument to increase the state's excise tax on ciga- rettes. The same arguments apply to taxes on alcohol. Unfortunately, our state Leg- islature has failed to appreciate these simple facts. It actually re- duced the tax on beer for the past two years, ranking in the lowest 20 percent of states in this cat- egory. New York's tax on wine is the second-lowest. New legis- lation permits the sale of liquor on Sundays to increase tax reve- Increased alcohol sales will come at a much greater expense to the public than can be offset by the new tax revenue. Up to 40 percent of hospital beds are filled as a consequence of alco- hol abuse and dependence. Drunk-driving offenses threaten public safety and overburden courts. The cost of alcohol-related problems is measured in the hun- dreds of billions of dollars. Up to 90 percent of children in foster care locally come from house- holds where alcohol and other drug dependence is a major con- tributing factor. Babies exposed to alcohol during pregnancy de- velop mild-to-severe problems with cognition and behavior reg- ulation. I challenge you to endorse in- creasing alcohol excise taxes with the same prominence you gave to the tobacco taxes. A penny more a beer would generate up to million annu- ally. Some of the new money could fund early intervention services for alcohol exposed ba- bies, an effort Syracuse Brick House is seeking to develop. G. Richard Kinsella, president Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare Syracuse Brick House Syracuse Principal on inspiration who wifl be missed To the Editor: Jacalyn Stewart was an inspi- ration to everyone she came in contact with. She touched many lives, as evident by the over- whelming outpouring of support the community showed in the days after her passing. Jackie succumbed to cancer just three days before Christmas. When I first received the news of her diagnosis three years ago, I was in shock. She always was good to me and had a positive at- 10 vears before finishing high school in Oswego. When I grad- uated in 2001, Jackie bought me the Fulton yearbook and had my name engraved on the front. When I offered to pay her for it. she refused. I had the opportunity to meet her wonderful mother, Olga. It was clear where Jackie got her good qualities. Her son Glenn is a terrific kid who will succeed at whatever he does. He's a hard worker and has good motivation. I knew her passing was the best thing for her. She was a healthy, active, vibrant person, and watching her go through what she did was not the way she would have wanted it. Jackie made a difference in the lives of everyone she knew. Even though she's gone, she will always be with us. Sean Madden Oswego Landing on Titan is just the beginning To the Editor: Spectacular, indeed, is the ac- complishment of successfully guiding a spacecraft to the sur- face of Saturn's mystery moon, Titan. Yet the month of January holds one more, albeit unex- pected, surprise relating to far- away places and the age of the universe. In the January-February issue of the Journal of the British In- terplanetary Society, four Ameri- can scientists examine the moun- tains of information discovered about the universe in recent years and come to an incredible conclusion: Because our sun is a billion years younger than many others in our vast galactic neigh- borhood, surely there should be one or more highly advanced, extraterrestrial civilizations out there. But that's hardly their most amazing theory. The four scien- tists warn that science must not dismiss UFO reports out of hand because there may be evidence yet unknown to our science that visitors from elsewhere stopped by for their own leasons, via their own methods. Updated the- ories about space "wormholes'" and other discoveries in ohvsics have opened up a whole new area of thinking regarding our potential neighbors in the cos- mos. Getting from "there" to "here" may be as easy for an advanced life form as taking a shortcut to the next town. We required almost eight years to reach Titan at a distance of some 900 million correct, oider and wiser species may be eminently more familiar with Earth and its galactic terri- tory than are we. Robert Barrow Syracuse 'Comprehensive7 plan still needs lots of work To the Editor: We wish to support the effort to establish a comprehensive plan for the city of Syracuse. We have followed the evolution of this plan from its inception, and provide the following recom- mendations: The term "comprehen- sive" may be misleading. As UlCiC OlC UUMC {AUli UUMiilg Ul ti truly functional comprehensive plan, we recommend the current document be named a "concep- tual" plan stating the goals, or- ganizations and resources avail- able to this community. This plan lacks detailed descriptions of our roughly 26 city residential neighborhoods. These neighborhoods need to be defined in physical and historic form as the basis for creating specific planning and design guidelines in each area. This plan promotes unde- fined development, which is not based on adequate evaluation of existing business needs. The commercial centers of our down- town and neighborhoods are not supported by business develop- ment plans, which still need to be created. A continued pattern of demolition and "shovel-ready sites" fosters a devaluation of the character and historic fabric of our city. This plan lacks a design vi- sion for the future. There are no plans or views illustrating the or- ganization, physical form and image of our neighborhoods or downtown areas. A truly com- prehensive plan must include a design vision for residents and developers to appreciate and share. 1 This plan lacks a vehicle of delivery. A comprehensive plan needs to establish an adequate and qualified professional staff to carry out the plan on a day-to- day basis. Adopting your current docu- ment as a "conceptual plan, amended to include these five recommendations, a more truly "comprehensive plan" would be created, establishing the method- ology and process to assist our city in future planning and de- sign issues. Dtan A. Biancavilte, co-chairs American Institute of Architects With all the bad news in the world today, this wonderful se- ries was a breath of fresh air. Martha McConnell Greer Syracuse Working students need support not criticism To the Editor: As SUNY assesses why grad- uation rates are declining, I hope i it takes a holistic approach. I am a full-time employee in 1 Syracuse. I work evenings and attend SUNY Cortland during the day. I have been enrolled in the SUNY system for nearly five years, and I need 10 more class- es to complete my bachelor's de- gree. I have taken as many as 12 credits a semester and no less than nine, all while working 40 i hours a week. 1 Am 1 a drain on the system? Have my studies at Onondaga Community College and SUNY Cortland put an undue burden on taxpayers? i Most of the students I know work many and face} ear- 1 ly tuition increases. Quite often, the required classes are not of- fered due to staffing and funding 1 issues. Increasing numbers of part-time, adult and working stu- dents juggle hectic schedules to i gain an education. If it takes us longer to gradu- ate, so be it. It isn't Those who make the sacrifices should i be applauded, not insulted. Sean Burke Liverpool Noisy trash pickup jarring to taxpayers To the Editor: I attended school hi Fulton for the physicists' assumptions are Syracuse Eastwood, I am usually very ap- preciative of the city's services. I love the reliability of the trash pickup, and am usually happy with tne efforts of the Depart- ment of Public Works. However, after being awakened from a sound sleep for the second time in a few months, I feel the need speak up. Around I a.m., my husband and I awoke to the beeping and thudding of DPW trucks picking up Christmas trees. This went on for a while and was quite noisy, even waking both my children. In the fall, we were treated to a 3 a.m. wake-up for leaf remov- al that lasted a full 45 minutes. This is no quiet effort; had it been anyone else, I would have called the police. Although I ap- preciate their efforts, I wonder at the choice of time. I was tempted to call Mayor Driscoll so he, too, could enjoy the "party." Please, please, City of Syra- cuse, don't break your own noise ordinance. Continue to make the city a peaceful, enjoyable place that young families want to move into, not out of. Tina Morgan Eastwood America wouldn't abide torture, would it? To the Editor: Shortly after was shocked to hear a discussion on National Public Radio on the use of torture. I thought: Surely our counuy wouldn't join IWi Gei- many in the glib, official use of the worst of human sins. Now, NPR reports the horrible news of the extensive use of tor- ture in U.S.-run prisons. Holier- than-thou speeches by our elect- ed officials can't cover up the real evil of sanctioning such bar- barism. uarayeue ;